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Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

Introduction

19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX © UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre
19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva
© UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre


The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 October 2014 there are 39 thematic and 14 country mandates.

With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contribute to the development of international human rights standards, engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council; the majority of the mandates also reports to the General Assembly. Their tasks are defined in the resolutions creating or extending their mandates.
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Visual Directory


Directory of Special Procedures Mandate Holders

Special Procedures Visual Directory Accessible - August 2014
English
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Annual Fact and Figures 2013


Annual Fact and Figures 2013

English
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Civil Society Handbook

Civil Society Handbook

Click here Chapter VI - Special Procedures and the Full handbook here (PDF, 1,28MB)

UPR recommendations relating to the Special Procedures (2008-2013)

UPR recommendations relating to the Special Procedures (2008-2013)

UPR recommendations  (PDF, 1,73MB)

Videos


Visit of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons -- Italy, September 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on truth -- Uruguay, October 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation -- Brazil, December 2013



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Feature stories

Feature stories about the Special Procedures of the
Human Rights Council.
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Contact us


Postal address:
Special Procedures Division
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Fax : +41 22 917 90 08

Malawi flooding
As result of Malawi worst flooding in the country, United Nations human rights experts urge the international community to rapidly provide funding and assistance to the Government of Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique and humanitarian actors.


Austria / rights of the elderly
Ending a 10-day mission to the country, the UN Independent Expert on the human rights of older persons, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, commends the Austrian Government for its commitment and efforts to ensure that older people are able to fully enjoy their human rights.

Oman / human rights defender
Said Ali Said Jadad, a prominent human rights defender, was detained on 21 January without an arrest warrant in Oman. A group of United Nations independent human rights experts urge the Government of Oman to release him.

Migrants / Mission to Brussels
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Brussels from 2 to 5 February 2015 as follow-up to a study he carried out in 2012 on the management of the external borders of the European Union.

More press releases...

For further information on how to submit communications on alleged human rights violations, please read the webpage on Communications and send your submission to: urgent-action@ohchr.org.